A Hubei Reborn for New Glories; a China Embracing Openness and Prosperity
– Remarks by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Special Event of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Presenting Hubei Province
Lanting, 12 April 2021
Today’s event is truly extraordinary, because we are presenting to the world the heroic province of Hubei and the heroic city of Wuhan.
Just several days ago, on the 8th of April, we marked the anniversary of the end of the Wuhan lockdown. Wuhan was the first city to report COVID-19 cases and the first to bring the virus under control. For that reason, the one-year anniversary of reopening the city is not only a day to remember and celebrate, but also an occasion capturing the attention of the whole world. That is also why today’s event is the largest since the MFA started presenting Chinese provinces and cities, with the number of diplomatic envoys and representatives present hitting a new record. It speaks fully to people’s recognition for what Hubei and Wuhan have accomplished in fighting the virus and the expectation from various quarters for China’s post-COVID growth prospects. Here, along with Secretary Ying Yong, Governor Wang Xiaodong, and Secretary Wang Zhonglin, I wish to express our warmest welcome to all the diplomatic envoys and representatives present today and also the friends from the media.
For Hubei, the past year was one of great triumph over exceptional hardships. Hubei and Wuhan were the front line and main battlefield in the fight against the deadly virus. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the people of Hubei and Wuhan put the province and city under a timely lockdown. With support pouring in from across the country, the people of Hubei and Wuhan stood united as one and fought a tenacious battle with the virus. Their enormous sacrifice not only made China’s victory over COVID-19 possible, but also contributed significantly to the global COVID response. Hubei’s heroic fight against COVID-19 is an epitome of China’s response efforts, and more importantly, an embodiment of the unique character and strength of the Chinese nation. With tenacity and intrepidity, the people of Hubei have illustrated the great spirit of putting life above everything else, rallying the whole nation, braving danger, respecting science, and safeguarding a shared future. Such a spirit will not only leave its mark in China’s development history but also go down forever as an inspiring episode in mankind’s fight against COVID-19.
For Hubei, the past year was one of rebirth and new glories. After controlling COVID-19, the people of Hubei, led by the provincial party committee and government, lost no time in starting a journey for reopening the economy and society. Every effort has been made to make up for the time lost, and to seize the opportunities to build capacity and shore up weak areas. The pandemic and post-COVID reopening have served as an opportunity to boost economic upgrading and transformation. From post-COVID recovery to steady economic and social development, and from winning a decisive victory over extreme poverty to fully building a moderately prosperous society, Hubei has again scored impressive achievements in the major test of rebuilding and reviving development. Its economic and social indicators are improving across the board and its GDP growth is expected to surpass 10 percent this year. Having emerged from the trying times of the pandemic, the ancient land of Hubei will show still greater vigor and vitality.
A noble cause carries everyone forward; and compassion knows no borders. When Hubei and Wuhan battled COVID-19, China received support and assistance from many other countries. When infections began to spread around the world, China also did its best to extend a helping hand to other countries. The unprecedented pandemic has driven home to all of us that the world is indeed a community with a shared future where all rise and fall together. As President Xi Jinping puts it, there is only one earth and one shared future for humanity. Be it in coping with the current crisis or in making the world a better place for everyone, we must stay in solidarity and work together as one.
As we speak, COVID-19 is still raging in the world and the world economy is still grappling with the risk of a recession. As a responsible major country, China has fought the pandemic for the common good, not just for China itself; China has pursued shared prosperity, not just its own development. Here is what China will do going forward:
We will uphold solidarity and mutual assistance as we work with other countries to prevail over the coronavirus. Vaccines hold the key in the battle against COVID-19. China opposes “vaccine nationalism” and believes that vaccines must be made a global public good. This is what we have been saying and what we have been doing. We have donated supplies to over 160 countries and international organizations and are providing, by various means, vaccines to over 100 countries and international organizations in urgent need, thus giving a strong boost to the global COVID response. China will continue to fully harness its strengths to keep the global supply chains for COVID supplies stable; China will continue to provide humanitarian assistance and support countries in need; and China will stay committed to making COVID vaccines a public good above anything else so that safe and effective vaccines can be affordable and accessible to more developing countries.
We will uphold openness and cooperation as we work with other countries to promote world economic recovery. The world may be full of uncertainties, but that is not the case with China’s future. We have made a good start in implementing the 14th Five-Year Plan, and are moving toward the Long-Range Objectives through the Year 2035 and developing new systems for a higher-standard open economy at a faster pace. As a country pursuing high-quality development, China will further unleash the potential of its huge market to bring new development opportunities to all countries. As a country in the process of further opening up, China will deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries to inject more impetus to world economic recovery.
We will uphold multilateralism as we work with other countries to build a community with a shared future. Humankind is a global community. China opposes imposing hierarchy on countries and forming groups along ideological lines. The rights to life, health, survival, and development must be equally enjoyed by people of all countries. In this world, we need more understanding, less prejudice, and more cooperation, less confrontation. China will stay committed to the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, follow the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, uphold true multilateralism, and safeguard the international order based on the UN Charter. China will continue to improve the global governance system and build a global community of health for all. China will work with other countries to maintain world peace and stability, bridge the development gap, and create a brighter future for all.
This year marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China. Over the past century, the CPC has stayed committed to a relentless pursuit and rallied the Chinese people in a historic transformation that sees the nation standing up, growing rich, and becoming stronger. Hubei, a heroic land, has a special place in the history of the CPC. It is home to 235 generals who were instrumental in the founding of the People’s Republic. It is also home to many important historic events in the early days of the CPC. I hope that in this special year, you will have a chance to visit Hubei to see and feel for yourselves the great spirit of Hubei and Wuhan in fighting the pandemic, and experience the founding mission of the CPC and its journey of outstanding achievements over the past one hundred years.